There are a lot of things to take into account with RPGs, with todays current trends and popular games, generally speaking they will be compared to two previous titles, Dark Souls and Skyrim, two grossly different games with grossly different play styles, but arguably at the top of their respective fields. Now however we have a new contender from the throne; CI Games in collaboration with Deck13 Interactive lay their swords (Well swords, axes, hammers etc..you get the idea.) to the table with the up and coming hack and slash dungeon crawler Lords Of the Fallen.
Let us set the scene for you;
3000 years ago, the gods descended upon the world, wanting to rule over it, they laste waste to the humans, however the humans resisted and banished the gods to their own realms. 3000 years on the humans have developed an idyllic utopian society. Any person who commits evil acts is marked with runes and tattoos, these appear on the face to publicly mark those who commit unlawful acts.
The gods have decided to give it another go, they are back, and 3 millenia on, the humans have no idea how to fight anymore, it all falls down to our hero Harkyn, the worst of the humanity, the most marked of them all, to be our last hope and fight the gods. Already you can tell the story is going to be more accessible than Dark Souls.
Now as previously mentioned any new games will be benchmarked against current successes, and this has similarities with Dark Souls, as well as many differences, its roots stick to the dungeon crawler style of games, taking place mostly indoors without any frustrating falls off cliffs to your death.
It also improves on some aspects of Dark Souls, with more specific instances and information for the number of weapons you can use as well as subtle changes in the timing of your strikes depending on the weaponry you pick up as you go along as you mix and match to your own individual style.
In terms of feel, this game is insanely atmospheric, the combat system really draws you further into the world but we’ll touch on that later as well, the graphics are fantastic, the lighting dynamic and effective. Each dungeon level is filled with great amounts of hidden easter eggs and puzzles, though we weren’t able to see any more than the most basic we were told there would be enough to keep the game as challenging as possible.
Customisation for your character is surprisingly deep, while you cannot change the appearance of your character, you can customise your armour, weapons, gauntlets, helmets, boots, etc to create the perfect blend of boosts and ease of use and movement. Each and every item you wear affects your movement, reaction speed and attack timing, so you need to finetune yourself, get into the zone and pull off the combos you’re looking for. Patience is the name of the game my friends, you’ll learn this one way or the other with this game.
Now lets get on to combat, the control scheme is similar to Dark Souls, so those who have played this game in the past will feel right at home, a combination of parries guards and dodge rolls mixed in with your perfectly timed attacks will be your bread and butter, it can get a lot deeper, but we won’t ruin that for you.
As always there are a few things that need to be fine tuned; The enemy types appeared to be somewhat limited from what we saw but there is still plenty of room for improvement on that front, the main problem we had with the game was the camera, it was pretty unwieldy at times, and before you know it when you’re in a corner trying to see what you’re fighting, fumbling to get a look at it is what you want to do, but what you will do is die, quickly, and horribly, we were informed this is something they are already working on however so time will tell.
What this all comes down to is the Lords of the Fallen is taking all of the right cues from its predecessors, if all goes well, this could be the forefront of the resurrection of days gone by, the days when games were actually difficult, actually challenging. Like we said, time will tell, but for now, keep your eyes firmly on this one.
Lords of the Fallen is released on Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC on 31 October.